PM’s Divali message: Let your light shine

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley. –

THE Prime Minister urged each person to let their light shine brightly to help the country towards betterment, amid challenges such as the global supply-chain crisis, in his message for Divali 2021.

“I urge again that you use this day to explore your inner self, so that your personal, positive light will create a new mindset across Trinidad and Tobago so that our society will collectively engage the many hurdles that we are called upon to overcome.

“Notwithstanding the changing circumstances we must continue to have confidence in ourselves with the fervent hope that we can succeed together.”

Dr Rowley said it was to TT’s credit that it celebrated the centuries-old Divali festival as observed in India.

“In contrast, in many plural societies around the world, dark clouds frequently ignite religious differences, tribalism, identity politics, ethnic nationalism, extremism, and violent conflict. Fortunately, in this country we consciously try to avoid such experiences.

“To our credit, our society is identified by some indicators as among the happiest in the world, and we line up among the most successful multi-cultural and multi-religious peoples.”

He said as TT marked 59 years of Independence and 45 years as a republic, this society has much to be thankful for.

“Yes, there have been challenges in our daily lives – protests, civil disturbances and unnecessary incitement – but our political system, although not perfect, has proven to be flexible, accommodating and resilient.”

The PM said Divali traditions can reflect on our individual lives.

“This is the time in which we may see in the deyas a symbolism of a triumphant light over the dark corners in our lives and our society, that moment in which we seek God’s purity, so it will overcome imperfection as his goodness overcomes evil.”

Rowley said regardless of one’s religious affiliation, Divali 2021 can be seen as a spiritual moment to purify ourselves and make progressive changes in our lives.

“Let us become more co-operative, more forgiving of our fellow citizens, and be more approving of sincere intentions, be more peaceful, selfless and non-judgemental.

“I appeal, as Prime Minister, for more politeness, courtesy and respect in all our interactions, with each other.”

Saying TT was at a vulnerable point in its history, he said some may seek to exploit this moment for their selfish, personal agenda, but the Government’s budget offered opportunities and economic improvements on the road ahead.

“Along with the covid pandemic, this country faces other external challenges. The decisions now being made at the UN Climate Change COP 26 in Glasgow, Scotland have the potential to affect us in very serious ways.

“The international supply-chain crisis which is currently disrupting all supplies is likely to be felt in your own food baskets here at home as it is around the world.”

However, he said the Government and public servants were monitoring all of these challenges.

Urging all to let their light shine to lift this society, Rowley said, “I wish all citizens a Happy Divali.”